After Crazy Rhythms, The Feelies pretty much dropped off of the face of the planet. Their bassist left, and drummer Anton Fier left and eventually formed The Golden Palominos.
Meanwhile, Glen Mercer and Bill Million never stopped playing, and eventually picked up an new bassist, Brenda Sauter, and not one, but two percussionists: Stan Demenski & Dave Weckerman. Weirdly enough, the resultant album, 1986’s The Good Earth, featured less weird percussion than Crazy Rhythms, as Weckerman provided color as opposed to contrast.
Produced by Peter Buck, The Good Earth felt as pastoral as the cover — for the most part, Mercer and Million found a groove pretty early on in every song and just rode it throughout. For the most parts, they strummed their electric and acoustic guitars together and each song had just enough melodic difference to distinguish from the others.
“Slipping (Into Something)” is different. It starts slow and quiet, almost imperceptibly, and then builds measure by measure — Mercer and Million’s guitars playing off of each other — until it finds a groove.
But that groove lasts just long enough for Mercer to sing a verse, and then it all breaks down, and starts up again, back into the groove, and then breaks down again.
But this time, when it starts back up, it’s different: no words, and the groove just gets faster and faster and faster and faster, and now the guitars are both, er, shredding and the beat gets faster and faster and faster some more and the guitars get noiser and noiser, and eventually the whole thing just collapses and the song ends.
It also around this time that the Feelies appeared in Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild, — still one of the more schizophrenic films ever made — playing the band at Melanie Griffith’s high school reunion, which was one of the reasons I went and saw the film in the first place.
“Slipping (Into Something)” Performed Live in Athens, GA 1987
The Feelies performing David Bowie’s “Fame” in SOMETHING WILD